Ellis Island missing ship manifests

Is there a list of the dates or range of dates for missing or not microfilmed ship manifests from Ellis Island from the early 1900s?

  • Are you looking for a specific person?  Name, age, birthplace?  Name of ship you think is missing?  If you had a specific date or week, the New York Times listed ship arrivals each day.

  • My grandmother came to Ellis Island in early May 1912 with an infant daughter. My grandmother was in and out of the hospital on the island after a diagnosis of the eye infection, trachoma. She was denied entrance and sent back to Germany/Poland. Her infant daughter died on the ship either heading back to Europe or coming back to the USA at some later date. I cannot find a record of her return through Ellis Island or any other port but know she had come back to the USA at least 9 months before her next child was born in May 1915.  So I am thinking there must be at least one missing ship manifest between July 2012 and Sept 2014 were she is listed on her return voyage. 

  • Correction of date errors on my last reply. The last two dates I listed should have been 1912 and 1914 not 2012 and 2014 - opps!

  • If you want a new pair of eyes, it would be helpful to have her name, birthplace and birth date, and who she is going to.  It's actually possible to search for who she is going to on FamilySearch.org.


    Thank you for posting your question on History Hub!

    The National Archives has passenger arrival records into the Port of New York for this time period, as described in the National Archives Catalog: https://catalog.archives.gov/id/300346. Our websites discuss researching these records generally including availability of the microfilm and online resources:

    These records have been digitized and are available via some of the major genealogy subscription sites like Family Search and Ancestry. Those sites have pretty powerful search databases (by name). They do require a subscription or at least a login to access from home, though they may be available for free public use at a local library. These are the databases you want to look in, if/when you get access to Ancestry or Family Search. Ancestry requires a subscription. Family Search you can use at least partly for free, but you may have to do a login: 
    The website of the The Statue of Liberty—Ellis Island Foundation, Inc also has a searchable database for New York arrivals, 1820 - 1957:
    In terms of your specific question about missing manifests, we are not aware of this kind of systematic attempt to catalog the surviving manifests (on the microfilm) versus listings of arrivals that were gleaned from the primary sources at the time such as the newspapers another member of the community has already mentioned. The New York Times, for example, was indeed chronicling daily ship arrivals and departures. The New York Herald was doing this as well (likely there were many others). Databases for historical newspapers such as newspapers.com or NewspaperArchive are available via subscription, or possibly at a local library. In our research rooms, one can access the Historical New York Times database through our ProQuest subscription. We also suggest looking at the pages of Stephen Morse, where search tools and further resources for researching these records have been consolidated: https://stevemorse.org/
    To try and assist further in your search for your grandmother's arrival in May 1912, we also suggest pursuing her naturalization record, if you think she might have become a U.S. citizen at some point. Naturalization records can contain a lot of useful personal information including the details (ship, date) of a person's legal entry into the country. Here is our starter page for information on researching these records: https://www.archives.gov/research/immigration/naturalization. If the family settled in the New York / New Jersey area, our NYC office will be happy to provide further guidance. 

    We invite you to continue the conversation with community members on History Hub, but should you have follow up questions for the staff at the National Archives at New York City, please email us at newyork.archives@nara.gov so that we can assist you further.

    We hope this helps with your research!

    National Archives at New York City

    [RRFN 24-17985]    

  • Hi Joel,

    I apologize for my lateness in a reply to your last message. I would very much appreciate you taking another look regarding records of my grandmother’s second and final arrival in the USA as I have not been successful in finding any information. My grandmother’s name is Apollonia (or Apolonia) Formella and she traveled to the USA the first time with her infant daughter Gertrud who was about 7 months old. They traveled on the ship named President Grant from Cuxhaven on April 25, 1912 and arrived at Ellis Island on May 7, 1912.  Her unmarried sister Anastasia Konkel traveled with them.  I see on the passenger manifest notes of Apolonia and Gertrud visiting the hospital and being discharged and deported. My grandmother was born in Sianowo, Germany - now Poland and Gertrud was born in the birthplace of my grandfather the next village of Mirchau, Germany, now Mirachowo, Poland.  Apolonia was due to meet my grandfather, August Formella in Jackson, Michigan, if she had passed through Ellis Island inspections.  Alas, that did not happen on her first trip but within the next 2 years she must have come back over as I have an uncle born in 1915 from my grandparents in Jackson, August and Apolonia Formella.

    Thank you and Kind Regards,

    Tim Formella